LeBonheur Children’s Hospital warn parents of RSV cases on the rise

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Doctors give preventative measures to help your little one stay away from the hospital as a respiratory virus makes its rounds among children.

The respiratory syncytial virus is a seasonal illness that usually occurs in the winter months. But its recent spike has doctors concerned ahead of the typical flu season.

It’s an illness a Memphis mother’s newborn baby is fighting to overcome.

At just two weeks old, baby girl Jimmy Louise has been in the hospital, for one of them, fighting off an infection called Respiratory syncytial virus.

“She started out with a little cough, a little congestion. I noticed that she was having a hard time kinda eating where she would get kind of choked up and have to stop and I noticed her breathing was a little labored,” said Samantha Richards, Louise’s mother.

Richards said it was enough signs for her to see something wasn’t right with her newborn baby.

“She was pulling in her belly. She was pulling in her neck, using the masses in her neck to breathe and that’s when I kind of knew that we needed to intervene quicker than waiting to go to the doctor in the morning,” said Richards.

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital reports said it’s seeing hundreds more of these RSV cases in children less than 2-years-old.

Nick Hysmith LeBonheur Children’s Medical Director of Infectious preventionists said just last month it saw close to 500 cases and for Oct. we’ve already on track to surpass that.

“And the reason we worry about it so much is because it’s the number one reason that kids in an age group, less than two, get admitted to LeBonheur during the winter months,” said Hysmith.

Hysmith said the viral illness spikes typically at the beginning of November through the winter into the first of the year.

But since that’s not the case, here’s how Hysmith suggests keeping your child protected.

“If your child is sick, they don’t go to daycare, don’t come in contact with other children. That is the biggest way to prevent really any infectious diseases from spreading,” said Hysmith.

It’s the T.L.C. and space baby girl Jimmy Louise is receiving to recover from the virus.

While there is no shot for this virus, as part of its preparation for flu season, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital started administering influenza shots earlier this month.

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